Raiders of the Lost Can
The students in this year's Mechanical Engineering 72 (ME72) class, a two-term engineering design lab for mechanical engineering majors, not only rolled, they crawled and flew their robotic inventions to deliver their team's soup can to the top of a wooden pyramid outfitted with steel ramps, while simultaneously deploying other robotic vehicles to conduct defensive maneuvers, preventing the opposing team from beating them to the top with their own color-coded soup can. [Caltech Release]
ENGenious Wins Silver!
The 2013 issue of ENGenious has won a silver award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII in the Awards of Excellence category of Annual Magazines. The award is given by the CASE District VII Board of Directors and the Awards of Excellence Committee to "superior magazines published once a year." First published in 2001, ENGenious is a publication for alumni and friends of the Caltech Division of Engineering and Applied Science (EAS). The goal of the publication is to highlight the contributions of the EAS faculty, students, and alumni in research, education, and industry. [ENGenious]
Julia R. Greer, Professor of Materials Science and Mechanics, and colleagues have created nanostructured, hollow ceramic scaffolds, and have found that the small building blocks, or unit cells, display remarkable strength and resistance to failure despite being more than 85 percent air. The general fabrication technique the researchers have developed could be used to produce lightweight, mechanically robust small-scale components such as batteries, interfaces, catalysts, and implantable biomedical devices. [Caltech Release]
Solar Decathlon 2013 Construction is Under Way
Last year a group of students in an engineering project course called Introduction to Multidisciplinary Systems Engineering, taught by Professor Melany Hunt, began planning for the Dynamic Augmented Living Environment (DALE), a joint SCI-Arc/Caltech entry in the 2013 Solar Decathlon competition. This type of multidisciplinary and collaborative experience is important for Caltech students, notes Hunt. "Engineering students need experiences in which they design, create, build, and test," she says. "They also should have opportunities in which they work as part of a team. Most engineering projects require multiple perspectives with input coming from a range of individuals with different expertise and vision." [Caltech Release] [LA Times Article]
In a recent symposium hosted at Caltech in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, computer scientists, artists, and designers gathered to discuss what they called the "emerging science of big-data visualization." The speakers laid out their vision for the potential of data visualization and demonstrated its utility, power, and beauty with myriad examples. Data visualization represents a natural intersection of art and science, says Hillary Mushkin, Visiting Professor of Art and Design in Mechanical and Civil Engineering, and one of the co-organizers of the symposium. [Learn More]